Monday, October 6, 2008

How to Write a Romance Novel, Part I

When I have to read a lot of heavy, non-fiction material, I get the urge to rot my brain with vodka. Since I'm trying to cut back on that, I reach for a trashy book instead. These are terrible, terrible books. Just the plots, characters, and style are crappy. Of course, this leads to a numbing of the mind and eventual necrosis. Hooray!

I thought it was time to share my talents with the world on how to write one of these salacious tomes. Why? Because my credentials are impeccable. Not only have I not had a damn thing published, I haven't even written one. And what is worse than failure (besides a plague of locusts)? Right! Not even trying! To create a terrible book you need a terrible author, and I can't think of anyone worse than me.

I've noticed that romance novels follow a more predictable formula than a buddy-cop movie. First we meet our leading man and lady. They are attractive and one or both is independently wealthy. It's like a soap opera, the storyline is going to get bogged down if you focus on plausibility so only include careers if they have something to do with falling in love. One or both characters is emotionally fragile and has sworn to never love again. Then an obstacle keeps them from requited love, they have sex, a misunderstanding parts them, and they finally get married. If they were already married, you can make them renew their vows at the end. Same thing.

Example: Angeline surveyed the party, her eyes rested on the handsome figure across the candlelit room. She savored the sight of the tall, broad-shouldered man. The tailored suit indicated sophistication while his alpha male posture cast an air of rugged machismo about him. Her champagne flute slipped through her fingers, for she was distracted by the thought of running her fingers through his thick black hair and fucking his brains out. Startled by the sound of breaking glass he turned to face her, and when his gunmetal gray eyes met her hazel green ones she realized she was staring at her elementary school sweetheart.
Damian's breath caught in his throat when he noticed Angeline. He had not seen her in twenty years, and he remembered the innocent joy of childhood love. The warm, soft emotions surprised him, for he had not felt his heart sing for seven years, not since his college girlfriend aborted her fetus and told him the father was none other than his nemesis and bastard brother Nickolai. His body urged him to gather the sultry form of this familiar stranger in his arms, to discover what time and puberty wrought, to pull her long auburn hair back and ravish her mouth, but his heart said "Nope."

1 comment:

velocibadgergirl said...


Also? Better writing than several of the romance novels I've tried to read over the years.